EGLE: Study shows only 2 of 5 Great Lakes have ‘good’ ecosystems

Lake Erie was reported to have ‘poor’ ecosystem

1990s View Across Lake Michigan To Sleeping Bear Dunes Michigan USA (Photo by A Bolesta/Classicstock/Getty Images) (ClassicStock, Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. – A study shows that only two of the five Great Lakes have an ecosystem that is considered “good.”

The State of the Great Lakes 2022 Report by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy have analyzed and reported that Lake Superior and Lake Huron are rated as “good” ecosystems as Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario are rated “fair” and Lake Erie was ranked as “poor.”

The Great Lakes were graded on nine measures which are found below:

  1. Can we drink the water?
  2. Can we swim at the beaches?
  3. Can we eat the fish?
  4. Have levels of toxic chemicals declined in the environment?
  5. Are the lakes supporting healthy wetlands and populations of native species?
  6. Are nutrients in the lakes at acceptable levels?
  7. Are we limiting new introductions and the impacts of non-native species?
  8. Is groundwater negatively affecting the water quality of the lakes?
  9. Are land use changes or other stressors impacting the lakes?

According to the report, Lake Ontario is the only lake currently improving its conditions by incorporating beach closings, leading to the decline in contaminant concentrations found in fish.

The report found that Lake Erie has been having persistent problems with algal blooms and elevated nutrient concentrations. Lake Michigan, one of the two lakes rated fair, has invasive species that continue to affect the water quality and the lake’s food web. Lake Huron has had a reduction of invasive filter-feeding mussels and upgraded to “fair” in the 2019 State of the Great Lakes Report.

The analysis for this report is released every three years.

You can view the report below:

About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.